#JusticeforUmoren: ‘I had fever that day, reason I first pleaded guilty’ – Umoren’s alleged rapist, killer, denies ever meeting her

*Court orders FG to reserve 35% of public offices for women

*Iniubong Umoren’s alleged rapist, killer, denies ever meeting her

*Universities can remain shut until right things are done, says ASUU

*UN chair raises the alarm over organ harvesting disguised as ritual killings

*South, Middle Belt, Ndigbo leaders rage as PDP dumps zoning

Across Nigeria’s 36 states and the Federal Capital Territory, these are the five top news stories you shouldn’t miss:

Court orders federal government to reserve 35% of public offices for women

The Federal High Court in Abuja Wednesday, ordered the federal government to enforce the National Gender Policy by allotting 35 per cent of appointments in the public sector to women.

A nongovernmental organisation, Women in Politics Forum (WIPF), filed the suit against the Nigerian government, seeking the implementation of the 35 per cent Affirmative Action in appointments of women into public office.

Delivering his judgement on the suit on Wednesday, the judge, Donatus Okorowo, agreed with the plaintiff that Nigerian women had been subjected to various forms of discrimination concerning appointments into key positions of government.

Read also: #YNaija2023: See the APC presidential candidates who want Buhari’s job

Iniubong Umoren’s alleged rapist, killer, denies ever meeting her

Iniubong Umoren’s alleged rapist and killer, Uduak Akpan, has denied ever meeting her.

Akpan said this on Wednesday at the State High Court in Uyo, while opening his defence in his trial for murder and rape of the late woman.

“My Lord, I do not know Miss Iniubong Umoren. I only came to know that name when I was served with the proceedings of this trial at the Prison,” Mr Akpan said during cross-examination by the prosecution.

He also said, “For the second charge of rape, my Lord, I do not know anything about rape. I have never raped anybody. I pleaded guilty because I had fever on that day and my IPO’s influence in the court.”

Universities can remain shut until right things are done, says ASUU

Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) has said it does not mind universities remaining shut until the right things are done to guarantee the quality of learning and well-being of workers and students.

The leadership of the union at the Calabar Zone comprising nine universities in Cross River, Akwa Ibom, Abia and Ebonyi states made their position known in a statement read at a news briefing by the Zonal Chairman, Aniekan Brown.

UN chair raises the alarm over organ harvesting disguised as ritual killings

Chair of the Board of Trustees of the United Nations Voluntary Trust Funds for Victims of Trafficking and Executive Chairman of Roost Foundation Dame Julie Okah-Donli has raised the alarm over increasing cases of organ harvesting in the country being paraded as ritual murders.

She said an increased number of people are in the business of buying and selling of organs.

According to her, when the victims are eventually found, people conclude that they are all part of rituals murders.

South, Middle Belt, Ndigbo leaders rage as PDP dumps zoning

Leaders of Southern and Middle Belt groups, yesterday, were enraged over the decision of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to jettison zoning in the selection of the party’s presidential candidate for the 2023 elections, threatening to work against the party, if a Northerner is fielded.

Leader of the Middle Belt Forum, Bitrus Pogu said while PDP’s decision is left for the party, their position as reached at a January 22, 2022, meeting where they declared that they would not support any political party that does not field a Southerner as a presidential candidate, remains the same.

Read also: #YNaija2023: Meet the PDP candidates who have big dreams for Nigeria

A spokesman for Afenifere, the pan-Yoruba socio-cultural organisation, Sola Ebiseni, spoke in same vein. “I don’t want to talk about any political party. Let them do their worst, but we in the Southern and Middle Belt Leaders Forum have already expressed our views. We have no power to compel any party but we have spoken to the people,” he said.

Spokesman for Ohanaeze Ndigbo, the apex socio-cultural organisation of the Igbo, Alex Ogbonnia, stressed the need to allow the Southeast to produce the president in 2023.

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